Club of the Year

As Sheffield Tigers clubhouse won the Sheffield CAMRA’s Club of the Year 2023 I decided to pop along to the clubhouse and meet up with Tim, their bar manager to discuss things beer and Tigers.

Sheffield Tigers are a local rugby club who play at Dore Moor and currently play in National League 2 North and their clubhouse is basically open when the teams play or train, usually Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and on Sundays.

The clubhouse is warm and welcoming with TVs for Sport and enough room to seat around 60 people with a bar area to the end of the clubhouse. Here they serve traditional Sheffield beers on Cask from Abbeydale brewery, namely “Moonshine” and “Daily Bread” coupled to a variety of keg beers, lagers, Cider and Guinness. There is also an array of various wines and spirits.

Tim was keen to express just how good the Cask beer is and how they have invested in new modern cellar technology to be able to serve a perfect pint, also making sure the staff are properly trained in pint pulling.

So, its easy to see why Tigers were nominated and on a match day the bar is usually full with people both enjoy rugby and a good pint of beer, and the ambience and atmosphere is friendly and usually buzzing.

Add to this that Tigers hold their own beer festival every August and you have a great combination. This year they are expecting around 40 Cask beers and around 10 Keg beers from in and around Sheffield for you to try in a very pleasant marquee setting. A few pictures from last year’s event are here…

We’re presenting their award at their beer festival on Friday 25 August, 7:30pm. All welcome. Buses 65, 271 and 272 pass the end of their drive or buses to Dore (81/82) are a short walk away.

Club of the Year 2022

CAMRA Sheffield & District Club of The Year 2022 is Stocksbridge Rugby Club. Luci Loxley, Bar Manager said: ‘this has come as a total surprise. Thanks to all the staff involved. We are very pleased.’

Previous winners in 2017, this busy social club is open weekday evenings and all day at weekends, offering two or three real ales: Bradfield Blonde as a regular plus one Bradfield guest and another guest from a local brewery.

The rugby club was originally formed in 1962 as a section of Stocksbridge Steel Works Social Services. Sixty years later, it has sports teams in local leagues, two teams in the pool league, and a very successful table tennis team.

The building originally opened in 1866 as Horner House Primitive West End Chapel. The Primitive Methodist church was an 1807 secession from the Wesleyan Methodists. It was particularly successful in evangelising agricultural and industrial communities at open meetings.

The 2nd December 1865 foundation stone celebrations for the chapel and schoolroom, part of the Sheffield Second circuit, are described by John Wenn in an 1866 Primitive Methodist magazine. The stone was laid by GH Benson Esq. and the ceremony was followed by a “plentiful tea” in the nearby Co-operative society store. Speakers included Revs C Lace, R Bryant and John Wenn and Messrs GH Benson, F Hill, R Holden and John Manterfield. In 1932, the name changed to the West End Methodist Church. The building was extended in 1889 and the frontage was remodelled in 1959. This as, ‘it was felt that the ever-increasing flow of traffic ….. constituted a real danger to our scholars as they came straight down the Church steps into the main road.’

Almost half a century ago, in 1974, the chapel closed and was left to rot. It was acquired by the rugby club in 1983. The building was gutted and the inside completely rebuilt. The original first floor which sloped from front to back was replaced. All the work was completed by members of the club. The new social centre reopened in 1985 using the old downstairs schoolroom. Three years later, in 1988, came the official opening when the upstairs function room came into use. This room has it’s own bar and is often used for private events: everything from barn dances to childrens parties.

The war memorial, originally fixed to the east wall was removed to the Wesleyan chapel at Old Haywoods, Deepcar. That is now closed, the memorial relocating to nearby Christ Church. It commemorates members of the congregation, ten men and one woman, who lost their lives in WW1.

The original 1865 Deed of Transfer signed by the Trustees with the vendor, Samuel Fox, states that: ‘No building erected upon the said plot of land shall be used as a beer house or public house …. without the consent in writing of the said Samuel Fox or his heirs or assigns.’ We assume that this consent has occurred.

Our presentation will be on Friday 3rd.June at 17:00, to coincide with their Jubilee Beer Festival. We hope to see you there. Bus 57 from Sheffield or Bus SL1/SL1a from Middlewood tram terminus will get you there.

Reference: Stocksbridge Primitive Methodist – West End Methodist Church 1866-1966. Centenary Handbook. pages 8, 19

Club of the Year 2020

Walking around the Crookes Social Club I noticed a 1928 carved date stone but have been informed the club is over 100 years old. Maurice, the manager, suggests the Covid pandemic is the most serious situation the club has faced and has had to spend cash reserves earmarked for a refurbishment on adapting to operate in a Covid-secure manner and creating a large outdoor social space.

Photo of presentation: L-R President Pete Lonsdale, Manager Maurice Champeau, bar staff member Lauren King and Sheffield CAMRA chairman Glyn Mansell

Despite this the team at the club continue to work hard to offer something for everyone. As well as a bar, the club offers activities from bowls to dancing, has two snooker tables and a pool table and participates in local leagues.

There is a separate concert room that hosts live music gigs, dance and fitness events.

Non members are welcome to drop in for a drink or attend gigs. Two well kept locally sourced real ales are available on the bar, currently from Bradfield Brewery.

Congratulations on being voted Sheffield Club of the Year by local CAMRA members!

Find out more about Crookes Social Club on their website, Facebook or Twitter.